Holiday weeks always seem to take the longest to be over, don’t they? We have a day off of work on Friday, so of course it seems as if it will never actually be Friday – I spent almost all of Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday. Typical, I suppose. I still don’t understand quite why we have Friday off. Granted, this weekend happens to fall on both the start of Passover and Easter, but I think it’s so strange. Christmas, I get – it’s not really about religion (to most people, it seems, anyway), but Easter has gone so far beyond its original intentions that now I have to see a creepy man-in-a-bunny-suit everywhere I look, which honestly, I do not appreciate. I remember when I was a kid, we were visiting my aunt in Arizona, long before we moved there, and we went to an Easter egg hunt. The lucky man who got to play the Easter bunny that year (haw haw haw) seemed to be much too big for his costume and I could see his hair poking out the back of the bunny head. It freaked me out so much that I still remember it vividly to this day. I don’t know why it scared me; it’s not like I ever really believed that there was an Easter bunny running around out there delivering eggs. I don’t think that the character has as much appeal as Santa Claus – give any kid the choice between an anthropomorphic bunny with decorated eggs or a kindly grandfather figure with perfectly wrapped presents and I think you know who she’d pick. Maybe I was scared of the anonymous dude who dressed up as an Easter bunny. Who knows? Either way, perhaps that’s why I’m not the biggest fan of Easter. That, and whenever we’d do Easter egg hunts in my own house, my little brothers would always go into a single spot together to look for eggs while I split my time up evenly among all the good hiding spots, consistently guaranteeing me the biggest bag of loot, only to have my mother beg me to share with my less fortunate brothers. I think I may have found it in my 10 year old heart to throw them a plastic egg or two, but I probably wasn’t the most generous egg hunter – it’s mine, all mine!
There are a few Bouchon bakeries in New York, and Kramer and I have even had brunch at the Bouchon in Las Vegas – it’s definitely worth checking out if you ever have the chance. The warm basket of epi bread, the highest fat content butter I’ve ever tasted, sweet homemade preserves, and crispy, thick cut bacon…they know how to do breakfast at Bouchon. They also, of course, know how to do desserts. I’ve always loved the look of the Thomas Keller Oreo – they are enormous, almost the size of my entire hand, and instead of the usual Oreo creme, they are filled with a soft white chocolate ganache, which is completely irresistible when paired with the dark chocolate cookie. I used the typical fluted cookie cutter for these, which is the same type that you’d see in the stores, but you can have fun with these and make them into any shape you want. When I put them out at a recent party of mine, a friend knew exactly what they were, and even said that they were better than the ones found in the store – it’s always a proud moment as a cook when someone understands exactly what you were going for, isn’t it? These TKOs will be sure to impress everyone who tries them, even the biggest Oreo devotee.
- 1½ cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips, but you can also use chopped white chocolate)
- First, make your filling. Before beginning, know that you need to let the filling sit out for 6 hours in order to thicken. Having said that, you may begin. Bring your heavy cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Place your white chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the cream over the white chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, then set it aside for, that’s right, 6 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Now, make the cookies. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in your stand mixer, then, while the mixer runs on low speed, add in the butter a cube at a time. Try to let the first cube be completely combined before adding the next. The dough will be dry at first, but just keep mixing and soon after you add your last cube of butter, it should start to come together. This may take about 5-8 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls, and set one aside. Roll the first ball between 2 sheets of parchment paper until it is about ⅛-inch thick (the dough is sticky, which is why it is necessary to roll it out between parchment). Cut the cookies out into your desired shape (the traditional being that flowery circular cutter that I used) and place on parchment lined baking sheets about ½-inch apart (the cookies don’t spread much). Continue until you have used up all of your dough. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until just set. Allow the cookies to cool a bit on the baking sheet before transferring to another surface.
- When the cookies have cooled and the filling has thickened, turn over half of your cookies. Place your white chocolate mixture in the bowl of your stand mixture and whisk it for a minute or so. Place a dollop of filling on one side of each cookie, then sandwich it between another cookie. Press the cookies together just slightly so that the filling shows a bit. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.